Chickens Are the Best Tool For Your Garden

outlook_h19_bannerBy Edward Gates
August 5, 2014

Boerne, TX– Chickens can be used to help maintain and strengthen the health of your garden. Having a flock of chickens in your backyard is beneficial in several ways.

A single chicken can bio recycle about seven pounds of food residuals in a month. If 2,000 households raised three hens, it could divert 252 tons of waste from landfills annually. A flock of hens will also perform most of the labor of having to “turn” your compost pile by scratching at the pile.

Chickens are efficient producers of nutrients for your soil as well. Chicken manure fertilizer is high in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, making it one of the best organic fertilizers for enriching your garden soil. Just one hen will produce about 90 pounds of manure a year.

Chickens also provide great pest control by eating problem-causing insects like crickets, grasshoppers, snails, and slugs. Chickens have been known to kill, and eat, small snakes too. Since they naturally love to eat a wide variety of the most common garden pests, chickens are a great organic pest control option.

Not only are chickens a valuable addition to your arsenal of garden tools and equipment but they also provide fresh eggs for the family. In 2007, Mother Earth News did an egg testing project and found that, compared to official USDA nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture may contain 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, and 7 times more beta carotene.

Chicken Raising Overview

Caring and raising a flock is easy and takes about the same time and effort as raising a dog. With the essentials, you can successfully raise happy chickens in any garden.

There are many resources to help you as you start up your backyard flock. There are several good books on the subject, such as The Complete Guide to Raising Chickens by Tara Layman Williams. This will arm you with the knowledge that you need, including which breed you want and what to feed them. Books like this will also give you information on how to tell if your chicken is sick.

A chicken coop is required to provide a safe shelter for your hens to lay and to protect them from predators. You want about 3-4 square feet per chicken inside the henhouse. A coop with an open floor will be easier to shovel out manure to use in your garden.

A feeder and waterer can be found at your local feed or lawn and garden store. Your local store will carry a variety of shapes and styles to choose from that will fit any size flock. One of the easiest ways to give your chicken water is to attach a nipple waterer to the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket, hang it in your coop, and fill with fresh clean water.

You must also be prepared to protect some of your more tasty plants with chicken wire. Chicken wire is easy to install. You want to make sure your chickens have access to the perimeter of your garden to act as a defensive barrier for bugs and insects.

You can use treats to train your flock to perform many different tasks, like getting them to come to you when called. Get your chickens to scratch and aerate the soil where you spread the treats, or simply reward them for their help.

About Happy Hen Treats

Happy Hen Treats were the inspiration of a seven year old girl named Kassidi who raised chickens in her backyard in a small town just outside of San Antonio, Texas. During a trip to the pet store to purchase treats for the family’s dog, Kassidi asked her father if she could also buy treats for Bailey, her favorite chicken. As her father gently explained that treats were not available for chickens, he could quickly see that his explanation was not setting well with Kassidi. She insisted on searching the store in hopes of finding something special to take home to Bailey.

Less than a year later, Happy Hen Treats developed Mealworm Frenzy and declared it to be “The World’s First Treats for Chickens.” Thanks to one little girl’s vision and determination, chickens across the country can now enjoy a special treat developed especially for them.

Happy Hen Treats provides healthy and all natural high-protein treats that let you interact with and train your chickens.

Be sure to visit to see other great quality products that you and your chickens will love.

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DIY Brewing

outlook_gp_bannerThese days craft brews are all the rage. Homeowners are even getting into the fray by brewing their own beers. Here are some suggestions for tapping (get it, tapping?) into that market with a brewer’s garden.

Gardens don’t just have to be beautiful anymore-they have to serve a purpose. And what better purpose than to grow the hops and spices need to brew a fresh batch of beer? I recently spoke with Patrick Weakland, who with his wife Amanda, owns a unique blend of garden center, brewery and hops farm out in Colorado.

The Weaklands are third generation garden retailers, and they have The Windsor Gardener in Windsor, Colorado. Brewing is one of Patrick’s favorite past times, and they added brewing supplies to the garden center mix. Nearly seven years ago they started growing hops, which turned into a huge field of more than 50 different hops varieties, which they sell online at Then, about a year-and-a-half ago Patrick and his son opened High Hops Brewery inside the greenhouse, where they sell their own creations and teach customers how to brew.

So they are uniquely qualified to talk about what would make a great brewer’s garden. Here are just a few of his suggestions:

  • Three varieties of hops that are easy to grow just about anywhere and can go in a multitude of beer types: Cascades, Centennial and Chinook, which can produce amber ales, India Pale Ales, Pilsners and cream beers.
  • Lemon verbena, which when dried, can make a great pilsner.
  • Cilantro-the flower on cilantro produces coriander seeds. These are great for wheat beers, or spicy Christmas ales.
  • Berry plants-whether its blueberry, raspberry or strawberry, all can make a great fruity beer.
  • Spruce or juniper-Patrick uses essence of these plants in his winter seasonal brews.
  • Mint-while mint can take over a garden unless carefully tended, spearmint and peppermint can add flavor to brews. And you won’t have to worry about your customer being successful with these fast growers.
  • Apple trees-now with patio-style apple trees, one can grow multiple varieties for that hard apple cider (or regular apple cider) that’s become so popular.

Article courtesy of Green Profit magazine. Jennifer Polanz is Managing Editor-at-Large for Green Profit magazine. She can be reached at

Sun Gro Supports Arett And Their Independent Garden Centers

outlook_s84a_bannerSun Gro offers several IGC-oriented brands, which are held to the high industry standards of its professional lines. These include well-known industry names like Black Gold®, Fafard® and Sunshine® retail lines.

Each brand has a distinct set of characteristics that sets it apart from the rest; among them you will find a wide array of potting and specialty mixes, garden amendments and natural & organic fertilizers. Many are OMRI® Listed products approved for organic gardening, and Sun Gro’s Canadian production facilities are Veriflora Certified for sustainability, so you know its products meet the highest environmental standards.
Since 1920, Fafard® has been providing Canadian Sphagnum peat moss to gardeners in the United States. The Fafard retail line consists of a variety of premium peat-based potting soils, specialty plant mixes as well as amendments, so gardeners are certain to find a product to fit their growing needs.

And since 2011 the Canadian production facilities that produce Fafard have been Veriflora Certified, which means they comply with rigorous environmental, social and product quality standards.

Sun Gro offers the same popular Fafard formulations, so customers can enjoy the same superior and very consistent quality they have come to rely on in the past.

Fafard premium potting mixes are sold exclusively to independent garden centers.

Fafard® Ultra Container Mix with extended feed 1 CF (90/pallet)

This all-purpose container mix with Moisture Pro™ water holding crystals, helps maintain mix moisture for longer, and an extended-release fertilizer to keep plants fed up to six months. Contains Resilience™ – silicon enriched for stronger stems and improved root mass.

Ingredients: Regionally formulated blend of Canadian Sphagnum peat moss and one or more of the following: peat, processed soft wood bark, forest products, compost, perlite, vermiculite, peanut hulls; dolomitic limestone, controlled release fertilizer, hydrogel and wetting agent.

Fafard® Natural & Organic Compost 1 CF (70/pallet)

Formulated for organic gardening, this is a rich blend with added nutritive benefits including shrimp and seaweed. Enriches any garden bed or landscape planting, from bedding annuals, perennials and vegetables to trees and shrubs.

Ingredients: Regionally formulated and contains a blend of compost and one or more of the following: Canadian Sphagnum peat moss or peat, processed soft wood bark, forest products, perlite, vermiculite or peanut hulls, seaweed and shrimp compost.

Fafard® Natural & Organic Potting Soil, 8 QT (8/case)

Great for organic gardening. Fafard Natural & Organic Potting Soil is a rich blend of natural and organic materials for indoor and outdoor growing. Contains Resilience™ silicon enriched for stronger stems and improved root mass. OMRI® Listed.

Ingredients: Regionally formulated and contains a blend of Canadian Sphagnum peat moss or peat moss, processed soft wood bark, perlite, dolomitic limestone and organic wetting agent.

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High Product Quality For Over Two Centuries


A Long Tradition of Quality Begins

In 1884, American homes were still illuminated with kerosene lamps and lanterns. In Oakfield, New York, young Ralph E. Chapin sold kerosene at the hardware store he ran with his brother-in-law, Frank Harris. But something bothered Ralph Chapin. Many of the cans his customers brought in to be filled with kerosene were so poorly made that they often leaked. So Mr. Chapin began making his own cans and selling them to his customers.

The demand for this product was so great that Mr. Chapin soon sold his hardware store and set up a manufacturing business in nearby Batavia. The company quickly expanded and began making 55-gallon storage tanks and pumps. In 1903, Chapin began making compressed air sprayers and hand sprayers.

Today, Chapin sprayers are still made from the best materials and exceed the most exacting industry standards. And Chapin products continue to perform safely and dependably, providing years of reliable service. Just as they have since 1884.

A Plant Designed For High Production

The one thing visitors notice first about Chapin headquarters? It’s big. At over 700,000 square feet, our building comprises 15 acres of production efficiency.

Here, in this spacious, modern plant, Chapin sprayers are designed, fabricated, formed, assembled, coated, tested, packaged, stored and shipped to customers around the world. One of the world’s largest sprayer manufacturing plants, our facilities were created to meet both current and future demands.

Each day, the Chapin team manufactures thousands of high quality sprayers for use in a wide range of applications. The depth and scope of our state-of-the-art manufacturing technology enables Chapin to respond quickly to customer needs.

Hands On Quality In Every Product

To be a successful company in any industry for over a hundred years takes more than the production of a high quality product. It takes generations of skilled craftsmen and dedicated employees working together with a great sense of pride in what they produce.

In order to measure up to demanding industrial and professional standards, every sprayer Chapin manufactures must pass strict quality control standards before it leaves the plant. The inherent quality of Chapin products comes from both the pride we put into them and their advanced design and construction.

Chapin is the only maker of metal compressed air sprayers to offer a 12-step computer controlled Tri-Poxy® coating process that inhibits corrosion and rust on all interior seams, welds, crevices, bottoms and walls. Famous for their strength and durability, all Chapin hoses are nylon webbed and tested to withstand high compressed air spraying pressure.

Chapin quality is also evident in the top priority we assign our customer service. Our friendly, helpful customer service staff is always pleased to give you prompt assistance and quickly provide the information, product, replacement parts, accessories, or service you need.

A Family Of Sprayers For Every Need

Over the years, uses and applications for Chapin sprayers have increased as more people discover the ease and convenience of performing a wide range of tasks with a pressurized sprayer. To meet this demand, Chapin has created sprayers that specialize in specific uses as well as sprayers designed for multiple jobs.

Today, the Chapin family of sprayers includes metal Tri-Poxy® and stainless steel sprayers, polyethylene sprayers, backpack sprayers, hand sprayers and dusters, deck and wallpaper sprayers, pest control sprayers, industrial sprayers, construction sprayers, cleaning and degreasing sprayers, light duty sprayers, professional sprayers, slide pump and cart sprayers, and drum pump sprayers.

No matter which Chapin sprayer you choose, you can be assured you’re getting value, versatility, quality, convenience, strength, durability and responsive customer support service that’s second to none. Chapin sprayers can be found in many applications throughout the world, both with the familiar Chapin logo as well as under private label.

As we head into the third century in which we’ve been in business, we’re proud of our technological accomplishments and continuing customer satisfaction. We pledge to continue our commitment to the impeccable standards of product quality for which the Chapin name has long been known and recognized worldwide.

Order Now Using Program Number: C08S1

Compete With ‘Big Box’ Retailers With Bonide!

outlook_b70a_bannerWith the introduction of their new Diagnostic Center, Bonide Products continues to lead the industry in enabling the independent lawn and garden retailer to properly diagnose their customers’ plant problems. The expert Problem Solver database allows store personnel to search for problems by plant type, an industry first. With the purchase of a pre-determined assortment of products the retailer receives a digital video microscope, a 19″ monitor to visualize the plant problem, the extensive expert Problem Solver database, soil pH meter and supporting P.O.P., such as our Insect & Weed Charts and Problem Solver book. With the “Answer Desk” Diagnostic Center set up in your store, your employees can recommend the right product for the their plant problem on the spot and help distinguish your store from the competition.

As Bonide continues to expand into the Animal Health category, we are introducing for 2015 product assortments that instantly put the retailer into the category or enhance their current offering with top-quality, highly effective animal health products. The assortments feature minimal amounts of our new Revenge® PourOn Fly Control, Revenge® DustOn Livestock and Dog Dust, Revenge® Equine Fly Spray and our proven performers from last year, our Revenge® Horse & Stable RTU’s and the Barn and Stable Concentrate sprays. Each of the two assortments, Basic and Expert, have complimentary free goods included in the purchase, which significantly increase your profit margins for the category.

With the combined purchase of a Diagnostic Center assortment and an Animal Health assortment, dealers will receive increased co-op funds, increased promotional bucks, 4-color custom ad circulars, free goods for added margin, inclusion in Bonide’s print and radio advertisements throughout the season and inclusion on the Bonide Dealer Locator list on our website.

Tired of not being able to compete with the ‘Big Box’ retailers on brand named products? Bonide introduces a way for you to compete and also maintain your margins! The KleenUp® Combo Buy Mega Deal features two (2) sizes of our concentrate KleenUp® and our Pump & Spray applicator. When the consumer purchases a KleenUp® concentrate and the Pump & Spray applicator together, they receive an incredible value after the consumer rebate. The Combo Buy rebate certificate value for the Pint concentrate purchase is $12.00 and the Quart concentrate is $15.00. These rebates allow you to promote a Combo Purchase Net Price after rebate of as low as $10.99!! Plus, the submitted rebate is sent back to the consumer in the form of a Gift Certificate to be used in the retailer’s store where the combo purchase was made. A unique and welcomed way that Bonide works to gets your customer back to your store. The header card, which comes with the product assortment, explains all of the details to the consumer. This exciting new end cap assortment will surely enable you to compete with the brand names in those ‘Big Box’ retailers!

See your Arett Sales or Bonide sales representative for all the details on these new and exciting programs and promotions from Bonide!

Order Now Using Program Number: B70S6

Orcon Sells More Fun Things Than Just Ladybugs!

outlook_o32_bannerThat’s right. Besides providing home and professional gardeners with 12 different live beneficial insects that can control most pest problems, we also feature live earthworms for soil and compost use, live Mason Bees for pollinating, and the most effective animal repellents on the planet. Plus we have books available to help gardeners learn how to use these tools more effectively.

Why Good Bugs Work

Most people cringe at the sight of any type of insect. But for us at Organic Control, Inc. (Orcon), the creepy, crawly creatures fall into two categories: good bugs and bad bugs. Pests may become immune to chemical pesticides over time, but they can never build immunity against being eaten – which is why our approach is proven effective, season after season.

Our good bugs include the familiar Ladybugs, which love to eat aphids, and Green Lacewings, which eat even more aphids. Then there are Praying Mantids, which eat just about anything that moves, Delphastus, a beetle that eats white fly, and Cryptolaemus that gobbles up mealy bug. And of course there are Predatory Mites, good mites that eat bad mites in droves.

Other kinds of good bugs are parasites, sneaky critters that lay their eggs inside the bad guys. The eggs hatch and eat the villains before they can do their dastardly deeds. These include Beneficial Nematodes, which thrive on grubs, flea larvae, fungus gnats, and other pests that live in the soil. Also there is the mighty Trichogramma, which attacks all kinds of leaf chewing caterpillars, Encarsia formosa, which specializes in white fly eggs, and Fly Parasites, which help ranchers from swatting so much. And there is even Aphytis melinus, which only has eyes for scale.

Why Earthworms can be lovable

Earthworms are one of the gardeners best friends. Our Red Wriggler composting worms (Eisenia fetida), help keep the soil loose, allowing for easier root growth and improving water retention. They also speed up the decomposition process in cold composting. These little guys eat and burrow twenty-four hours a day (imagine that!), which aerates the soil, getting oxygen to the roots. They can be used in the garden or in worm composting.

Pollinating bees that don’t sting?

Yes, our super pollinating Mason Bees, each one capable of doing the work of 120 honey bees, will stay where they hatch and help increase the yield on fruit and nut trees, and increase the blooms on plants and shrubs. They don’t have a hive or a queen, so each one concentrates on gathering pollen and nectar in its local area. And they are willing to work at colder temperatures than honey bees, making them more useful early in the season.

Animal repellents that really work

A researcher for the US Forest Service, Dr. Jerry Walters, got tired of deer eating his experiments. He tried all the common repellents, but after a couple of weeks, or a rain fall, he would have to reapply them. So he invented, and patented, a device that emits garlic vapors continuously for 6 to 8 months, even if it rains. He documented how this Deer & Rabbit Repellent system worked far better than any other product on the market.

With that success, he used the same technology for a Gopher & Mole Repellent. This version is inserted into a rodent’s tunnel, it fills the tunnel with garlic vapors making it unusable for a full year.

He then set his sights on our lovable dogs and cats when they can occasionally become a nuisance. He again used the same technology, but with some additional ingredients, to help encourage our little angels from bothering our plants or leaving unpleasant reminders of their presence. This one is called Dog & Cat Repellent.

For more information about these products, contact your Arett Sales professional.

Order Now Using Program Number: O32S1